Friday, September 15, 2017

Baby Steps #15- Metaphor

6"x6" watercolor collage Price $50
Baby shoes are a great metaphor...new beginnings, times gone by, loves found, loves lost, innocence, baby steps, things forgotten, things remembered.  I posted on FB trying to find out the name of my first grade teacher.  Boy did that stir up a lively conversation which included old (literally) friends, out of touch friends, associates, and even people I didn't spend any time with.  Talk about "things remembered!"  What is your first memory?  For a long time I had a memory that involved fear and the world changing into a blur of colors.  I loved that blur, despite the fear. When I was a bit older and understood language a whole lot better, I suddenly was able to make the association of the memory with an experience I was having at the time.  It was winter and I was sledding.  My memory was probably of the first time I went sledding.  The whole world tilted again with that memory and being able to put words of explanation to it.  There have been other times in my life when I felt the sensation of the world tilting or slipping, but none of them are as pleasant or exhilarating.  I had kind of sinking feeling last fall during the election campaign....but that was a whole different thing!  Go Figure!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Baby Steps #14 - Too Much?

5"x7" watercolor Price $50
 Do you remember the first art that really moved you?  For me it was Dick, Jane and Sally illustrations by Robert Childress, my first love affair with art.   In first grade we had to sit round robin and read aloud when it was our turn.  I can't imagine how painfully boring that must have been for the teacher.  I think it made her a bit cranky.  I could read because I watched my father teach my sister to read lying on a blanket on the living room floor.  There were a lot of tears involved and I vowed I would teach myself to read so I wouldn't have to endure that.  While waiting for my turn in the reading group I would read ahead and look at the pictures.  I thought they were magical!  I was in art appreciation zone and very happy.  Then the teacher would call my name, observing that I wasn't with the group.  I wouldn't know what page I was suppose to read and she wouldn't tell me.  It was humiliating.  Today, I feel bad for both of us.  Mostly though, I loved her.  She was very young and very pretty.  When we came back from Christmas vacation she announced she had a new name because she had gotten married.  It was Baumgartner.  I don't remember her maiden name but it was something like Smith.  I thought Baumgartner was impossible.  It took a lot of effort to learn that new name.  She should have considered that when she was dragging my attention away from my beloved "Dick, Jane and Sally." By the way, Sally wore baby shoes in those pictures.  Go Figure!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Figuratively Speaking- Baby Steps #13- Mouse Tales

6"x6" watercolor Price $100
The following is an account of my relationship with mice. As a child, it had mostly to do with Mickey and Minnie or Jerry.  Occasionally my father would catch a mouse in a snap trap.  We were warned severely about the dangers of the traps with, "It will break your finger," a frightful image for me to this day. When the poor mouse was caught, my father would discreetly dispose of it.  I never asked where.  I did, however, ask to see the dead mouse (because I was that kid) and he let me.  It horrified me.  I felt so bad for that sweet little thing.  My father had cataract surgery when I was a little older.  That was in the days when it was a really big deal and he was incapacitated for a long time.  On the day when my father was finally allowed to go back to work, we all marched outside to bid him a celebratory adieu. My mom drove one of those station wagons with a third seat turned backwards.  My dad had a big silver car with fins.  I think it was an Oldsmobile, and it had remained in the driveway which abutted a corn field for the entire time dad was unable to drive.  When my dad pulled out of the driveway we all clapped merrily and then broke into hysterical laughter because a gazillion mice ran out from it and scattered in every direction.  My dad, not realizing anything was amiss, smiled and waved at us until he disappeared from sight.  Now, in the fall, mice usually sneak into our attic, trying to find a friendly and warm home for the winter.  My husband is in charge of catching them.  I don't ask to see them....Go Figure!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Baby Steps #12- Even for Super Heroes

Even super heroes once wore baby shoes.  My youngest son, Harry, was adopted.  I call him my chosen child.  The rest of his family are tall white folks.  He was tiny until he became a teenager and started playing football. Then he started to look like a super hero.  He was also really agile and wiry.  We were all lanky and rather clumsy.  He was in love with football, dinosaurs and superman.  He was the one who was always wondering off and I spent many hours in frustration looking for him.  A favorite trick of his was to climb to the top of a tree in our front yard and sit there quietly, watching us below looking for him.  He loved that tree too.  It was his private place. He would climb up and wedge his football in the branches and then place his dinosaurs around it to protect it.  Once when we were traveling and had to leave the hotel early in the morning he refused to wake up and was a super crab when he did.  I told him to go lay in the back of the van while we packed it up.  After the packing chaos and finally getting everyone in the van, we took off.  We had some family friends with us as well so it was all a confusion of action, suitcases and plans.  Harry's friend spoke up about an hour after we were on the highway and asked where Harry was.  I said, "In the back sleeping."  He said, "No he isn't."    I of course panicked and imagined all the horrible things that could happen to a child alone in a huge hotel.  We sped back.  I was a nervous wreck and drowning in guilt.  When we arrived back at the hotel, he was eating in the restaurant.  Another quality of Harry's is that he always kind of looked like an orphan and people were always giving him stuff.  He wasn't too upset, until,  once I was done fawning over him, I let him have it.  I don't think he ever wandered off after that.  Go Figure!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Baby Steps #11- Bird's Eye View

6"x6" pastel $50
It is hard to recognize today's date without thinking about where we were and what we were doing in 2001 on 9/11.  I was a teacher and was in my class when another teacher burst into the room and said to me, "New York is being bombed!"  Besides not having factual news, she had forgotten that my daughter lived in NY.  I got someone to cover my class and ran to find out what was happening.  After many long moments of high anxiety and inability to get her on the phone, she finally was able to get through to me. It was a poignant conversation.  No one on the ground in the city knew what really was happening and communication lines came down quickly. Long story short, she ended up having to hitch hike across the Triborough Bridge to get home.  She had a clear view across the East River to the billowing smoke and dust.  I went down to be with her the following weekend.  She had to go to Pace University to pick up something that weekend.  Pace is a stone's throw from the old World Trade Center buildings.  I will never forget that image and all the sensory input that went with it.  There was a heaviness, a profound sadness in the city and it lasted for a long time.  But, as in all tragedies, and with all the horror of what humans are capable of, it also brings out the best in people and really good people shine forth in the darkness. Who would have guessed a short year before those fateful events, when we were going through all that Y2K nonsense, that  in a short time we would be facing such a huge and real attack.  Our hearts still feel sorrow for the victims, and police and firefighters who gave their lives to try and save others.  I have no more to say on this...Go Figure.

Figuratively Speaking -Baby Steps 9 &10

5"x8" acrylic on Yupo, $50

5"x5", Pentel markers on Yupo, $50
These two little paintings were done during hurricane Irma.  I do not live in Florida, but I was a bit obsessed with with the whole thing because I know a lot of people who do reside there.  They both reflect Irma's influence on me.  The top one, #8, has the dark, broken branch, blowing in the wind look (all unintentional)  and the second one is my tribute to Florida.  It is my interpretation of Floridian colors and I made the rudbeckia look like Palm Trees (kind of).  The shoes represent the peninsula and the lace holes like little tornadoes or hurricanes.  I am grateful that the damage wasn't quite as bad as they had predicted and everyone I know is out of dangers' way and starting to assess the clean-up.  I hope the reports turn positive quickly.  In the northeast we are having a gorgeous day...and weirdly...I feel guilty about that. Go Figure!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Baby Steps #8- values

Values 6"x6" acrylic on paper Price $50
Football season has begun.  I am the most unlikely of football fans.  It basically goes counter to my values and sensibilities.  It is violent, results in way too many injuries, and the capitalistic culture is greedy and ruthless.  I still am a fan.  I like the energy of the stadium, the excitement of the competition, the athleticism.  When my dad was still with us, my sibs and I had an on-going banter via email all through the season.  I miss that.  When my son was very little he fell in love with football.  We lived in a big 8 town and would take our bikes to campus to ride around until after half time when they would let us in to the stadium for free.  That was good because I was a single mom and had to master the art of finding a diversity of free activities and entertainment.  I went to every single game, home and away, when my son was in high school.  That taught this reluctant learner the basics of the game.  I was incapacitated a couple of years ago and one of my chief entertainments was keeping stats of the NFL games.  I only watch Patriot games or sometimes the KC Chiefs or Denver Broncos. That is more than enough!  So the Patriots are playing KC as I am writing this....my two favorite teams.  KC is stomping the Pat's.  Honestly though, I like sleep better than football and so many of the games go past midnight.  Who can play at that hour?..I don't have the energy to even watch...not sure this post represents my best values.....Go Figure!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Figuratively Speaking-Baby Steps #7

6"x6" watercolor Price $50
My standard nightmare for years involved missing  classes in college.  I was well into parenthood before my night time dreams started easing out of school scenes and switched to those involving me losing kids.  I am back in school, taking an online Color Theory class.  I wonder if this means I am going to start dreaming about missing a test.  In all honestly, that seems like much less of a horror to me than losing an innocent child.  I do have 3 children who have safely (more or less) made it to adulthood.  Being a grandparent is so awesome because you don't have ultimate responsibility for them, and that is a huge relief!  After spending a weekend with my granddaughters, I again had that scary dream, so I guess I am never going to be freed from ultimate responsibility when I am in REM sleep and the alpha waves are running at 15 cycles per second. Oh well.  Ah, for the days of dreaming about a teacher being mad at me.  I know I deserved those dreams as I had many experiences missing classes and tests or handing in assignments late.  However, as far as I know, I haven't lost any children.  My guilt goes deep I guess.....I am a responsible adult, and I fully expect to hand my Color Theory assignments in on time. Maybe I should take a class on dream analysis.  I would probably have nightmares about being lost in my dreams...Go Figure!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...